By Ashlee Larrison
GCU Information Bureau
As we start to emerge from a 12 months and a half of pandemic uncertainty, it’s an thrilling time for theatre lecturers across the Valley.
For latest College of Fine Arts and Production (COFAP) Theatre Training graduates Katie Norton, Isabel Potter and Daniel Hernandez, the 2021-22 college 12 months additionally brings their first post-graduation alternative to take what they discovered from their professors and time at Grand Canyon University and pour again into native college theatre applications.
Inside months of graduating, the three have landed instructing jobs and have large plans to make waves within the theatre neighborhood for center college and highschool college students.
Right here’s how:
When Norton was in highschool, she had an concept of what she needed to check in faculty however didn’t know the place — that’s, till she noticed first hand the ambiance and neighborhood of GCU’s campus.
“I used to be like, ‘The neighborhood right here is wonderful. I adore it,’” she mentioned. “Sure, as a freshman it’s a bit overwhelming, however the neighborhood made me really feel very welcomed.”
Norton tried a number of areas of theatre throughout her time in COFAP. She labored as assistant stage supervisor for “Main Barbara” in 2018 and “Who Will Carry the Phrase” in 2019 and was an usher for “A Yr with Frog and Toad” in 2019 and “The Tempest” in 2020.
However she additionally gained helpful data in her diploma program that may assist her within the Okay-12 job market.
“They’d us do mock instructing and identical with built-in arts,” she mentioned. “Doing that in school helped with the interview course of as a result of they had been like, ‘OK, I would like you to do a mock lesson.’ I had by no means heard of that outdoors of sophistication, so not less than I used to be in a position to simply go, ‘OK, right here’s how this would possibly appear like for a drama class.’”
After graduating in April, Norton accepted a place at Mountainside Center College in Scottsdale, instructing Drama and Media Manufacturing.
“I’m actually trying ahead to constructing a program, getting the scholars actually concerned and making an influence that isn’t simply floor primarily based,” she mentioned. “I need to have that with my college students the place they really feel like my classroom is a house for them outdoors of their house. I’m trying ahead to having the ability to construct that with them.”
As a senior in highschool, Potter was launched to what would grow to be her ardour – instructing theatre.
“I used to be TA’ing (trainer helping) for certainly one of my drama lecturers, and I noticed that I actually preferred being concerned with instructing,” she mentioned. “I form of switched my ardour of desirous to be onstage to serving to the children be onstage and pursue their ardour and love.”
That zeal led her to GCU, the place she once more was moved by the educators she encountered.
“They supplied a whole lot of inventive alternatives that I used to be form of impressed by,” she mentioned. “Permitting us to take a play and attempt to create a complete set design, a complete manufacturing – all of those fantastic real-world conditions that they put us in, I need to incorporate inside my classroom.”
For Potter, having a level as particular as Theatre Training required her to spend a bit further time discovering the right match. As a member of the state board for Arizona Thespians, she latched onto her dream job when she caught wind of a gap for a theatre trainer at Bradshaw Mountain Excessive College in Prescott Valley.
“Highschool was positively my focused viewers,” she mentioned. “I positively reply higher with them.”
With the data she gained in her undergraduate program, the December 2020 graduate will educate three lessons: Introduction to Theatre and Movie, and two Stage Craft I programs.
Potter credit the elevated curiosity in theatre at her college to the constraints attributable to the pandemic.
“A whole lot of the scholars now need to take part and be part of this stuff, and our college has gotten actually widespread these days,” she mentioned. “The demand for stage craft went up, for positive.”
With any new position there could be moments concern or uncertainty, however Potter has developed a thought course of that has helped her keep centered.
“Simply keep in mind why you began,” she mentioned. “Keep in mind the eagerness that you’ve and the drive that you’ve as a result of instructing will get arduous and there are a whole lot of challenges that include it that may make you need to give up. It might make you problem why you’re doing this.
“If you happen to keep in mind the why, you then’ll get by means of it.”
Hernandez loves each theatre and training however struggled to discover a program with each. When he noticed that GCU provided a level in Theatre Training, it was a no brainer.
“Going to GCU and being able to simply have all the things all collectively was each handy and it was simply good as a result of it was near me as nicely,” he mentioned.
Whereas he didn’t have sufficient free time to take part in COFAP productions whereas he was a scholar, he made it a precedence to see as many reveals as he may. Now, the spring 2021 graduate is instructing Starting Performing, Stagecraft and a sophisticated manufacturing class at Moon Valley Excessive College in Phoenix.
Hernandez credit the “modernized” COFAP instructing strategies for making ready him.
“I’ve all the brand new stuff,” he mentioned, “so I don’t really feel as overwhelmed.”
Particularly, Hernandez mentioned he benefited most from the combination of know-how into efficiency advertising and displaying media.
Like Potter, Hernandez hasn’t let the problem of beginning his profession detract from his objective. It’s a message that he has made clear to his college students. Hernandez hopes to implement the student-focused emphasis that he skilled inside his lessons at GCU.
“I informed my college students this: My aim and the explanation why I went into instructing theatre is to encourage the subsequent technology to go large, to do large issues and to not be afraid of making an attempt new issues.
“I informed them that it’s scary to start with and it’s OK as a result of they’re going to have assist from myself, they’re going to have assist from the friends within the classroom. There are individuals right here to assist and information them to the place they need to go.”
Contact Ashlee Larrison at (602) 639-8488 or [email protected].
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